DUST 514 Free or Not?…Not

Today in an interview with CCP’s CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson via Gameindustry.biz, Hilmar discussed the business model their new MMOFPS DUST 514 would be using.  Hilmar stated that they would be charging players a “cover charge” fee ranging from $10 – 20 upfront which would be converted into in-game currency,

You’re really getting the game for free but you have to pre-buy credits in the beginning. We might go fully free-to-play down the line, but in the beginning we have a cover charge just to manage the initial launch of it.

First, no the game is not free if you have to pay $10 – 20 to login.  Second does this mean DUST 514 will be made available as a free download without the need to purchase the actual game?  If so, then $10 – 20 is great , if not, then basically they want to charge $70-80 for the game, which sucks.

I contacted CCP for clarification on whether or not DUST 514 will be made available as a free download or if it requires a purchase since I couldn’t find the info anywhere.  Being a PS3 title, I was under the assumption the game would need to be purchased first, so we’ll see what they say.  However regardless of which it is, DUST 514 will still not be free with the “Cover Charge”.


  1. Well, I don’t recall them ever saying it would be completely free. I remember them saying from the start that it would be ‘free to play’, and that you would always have to pay upfront. This isn’t really new. Your article is misleading, or you’re misunderstanding what was said by them.

    You do not pay $70-80 for the game. You pay the COVER charge, and that’s it. Hence why they said “You’re getting the game for free but you have to pre-buy credits” Very similar to the way they do EVE Online. You purchase the game for a certain price, and you get some game-time with it. You can actually purchase the game USING a gametime card, and get it for cheaper. Except in this case, you’re going to pay a small fee and you’ll get some in-game currency.

    With the micro-transaction model, it makes sense for them to make the game itself free. They will sustain it long-term from RMT, and since it’s technically free they will attract a lot of players who will pay the upfront cost and never purchase another in-game credit for real money again.

  2. Even is DUST 514 is available as a free download, making the player pay a “cover charge” means the game actually isnt’ free.

    If I was running a promotion and said “Free TVs” then when you came to get it, I said “Oh wait, there’s a $50 handling fee” would you still consider that free? No.

    Yes it will be free to play after the initial cover charges, but I don’t think its fair to promote your game as “free to play” when you’re forcing the player to pay a fee upfront.

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